Vintage 1970s restaurants: See vintage fast food, sit-down places & other retro eateries

Vintage 1970s restaurants

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Check out this collection of pictures showing vintage 1970s restaurant chains — fast food and dine-in — along with some other small-but-iconic eateries.

The Magic Pan Creperie food & menu (1978)

Magic Pan Creperies (1978)


Old McDonald’s restaurant exteriors in the 70s

Vintage McDonald's fast food restaurant 1970s (8)


1970s restaurants: On-the-go Californians love their to-go fast food (1972)

Recipes — many spirited away from famous drive-ins and coffee shops — for the hefty hamburgers, tacos, tostadas, hot dogs, dips and drinks that on-the-go Californians have made a way of life

Article by Ruth Conrad Bateman in Woman’s Day (September 1972)

“California is more than a state — it’s a way of life!” A quarter century ago, Genevieve Callahan said it in her California Cook Book, one of the first and best of many books on the so-called California lifestyle.

Vintage fast food restaurant window from 1972 - Click Americana

To describe it in a few words, as many eastern writers attempt to do after a few days of observing our ways with foods, clothes, houses, gardens, and year-round recreation, is, to say the least, gross simplification.

Such words as “colorful,” “unique,” “vivid” and “mobile” certainly do apply, however: as many meals are eaten outdoors as in. And all Californians seem eager to have a go at all the ethnic foods found among our varied peoples.

There are dozens of ethnic groups here, but the ones that have most influenced the cooking and eating habits of every Californian are the Italian, Chinese and French in San Francisco, Armenians in the Fresno area and the Mexican and Japanese in Southern California.

Vintage American Japanese restaurant in the 1970s

Californians also have a passion for their own products. Practically everything grows in this golden land or swims in its waters. And some of these are found no place else!

Mix this exaggerated bounty, which is available year-round, with the exotic traditions of the ethnic cuisines, add a little homey Yankee or Southern or Middle America cooking, then stir it up with the casual, rather unorthodox freshness that seems to come with living here and you have an idea of what cooking in the California style is all about.

As much as anything, snack foods and refreshments show the Californian’s love of color and high flavor with a minimum of fuss and ceremony.

Vintage fast food - The Hot Dog Show from 1972 - Click Americana

The following favorites you’ll find everywhere — in hamburger drive-ins and sandwich shops, pizza parlors, coffeehouses and juice bars, walk-up hot-dog and taco stands, on the beach or around the family pool, in the patio or by the television set.

Just any place where wheeling Californians stop for a bite to eat and drink. Though tacos seem to be the “in” food with the young crowd at the moment, as pizzas were a few years back, hamburgers and hot dogs are never out.

Vintage Drive-Thru entrance sign from 1972 - Click Americana

Perhaps the most popular hamburger is the patty with an option of cheese melted on top, and a thick glop of Thousand Island (or Russian) dressing on a sesame-seed bun, with pickles and catsup on the side.

Another favorite at drive-ins where teenagers hang out is the double-deck burger — two thin patties in a bun with a third slice of bun in the middle — a hearty mouthful indeed.

Vintage California Mexican restaurant and popcorn vendor cart from 1972 - Click Americana


Vintage Sambo’s restaurant

SEE MORE: Sambo’s Restaurants: The diner chain’s story – and how it got that controversial name

Vintage Sambo's restaurant postcard


Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich restaurant neon sign (1972)

Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich restaurant neon sign from 1972 - Click Americana


Arby’s fast food restaurant interior & meals (1978)

Arby's fast food restaurant (1978)


Barney’s Beanery – Los Angeles restaurant in 1972

Barney's Beanery restaurant from 1972 - Click Americana


Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips vintage fast food restaurants

MORE: Do you remember the old Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurants?

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips vintage fast food restaurants (2)


Drive-up Pup n Taco fast food

Drive-up Pup n Taco fast food from 1972 - Click Americana


Vintage Taco Bell from the 70s

ALSO SEE: Vintage Taco Bell restaurants & see what the Mexican fast-food chain used to serve

Vintage Taco Bell sign from 1972 - Click Americana

People eating at a vintage Taco Bell from 1972 - Click Americana


Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and Ye Public House from 1972

Shakey's Pizza Parlor and Ye Public House from 1972 - Click Americana


Holly Farms Fried Chicken sign (1972)

Holly Farms Fried Chicken sign (1972)


Vintage Taco Kid Fiesta Cantina dining room (1970)

Vintage restaurant - Taco Kid Fiesta Cantina dining room (1970)


Taco Kid eat in or carry out restaurant (1970)

Taco Kid eat in or carry out restaurant (1970)


Burger King vintage fast food chain (1976)

MORE: Burger King: The vintage fast food restaurant they once called ‘delightfully different’

1976 Burger King vintage fast food


Vintage Fiesta Cantina restaurant (1970s)

Vintage Fiesta Cantina restaurant (1973)
Taco Kid Fiesta Cantina dining room (1970)

Fiesta Cantina restaurant (1970)


Flaming Steer restaurant/steak house

Flaming Steer restaurant tables - Interior (1970)

Flaming Steer restaurant

Flaming Steer restaurant

Flaming Steer restaurant


Friendly restaurant and selection of food on the menu (1978)

Friendly restaurant and selection of food on the menu (1978)

Vintage Friendly restaurant (1978)


KFC – Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant (1978)

ALSO SEE: Vintage KFC: About Colonel Sanders & the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food chain’s history

Inside a 1970s KFC restaurant (1978)
KFC meal (1978)


Zantigo American Mexican fast food (1970s)

Zantigo American Mexican fast food (1977)

Zantigo American Mexican fast food tables (1976)

Zantigo American Mexican fast food (1976)


A Vintage Next Door restaurant (1973)

MORE: Remembering the old Next Door Restaurant chain from the ’70s

Vintage Next Door restaurant building - 1973


Vintage H Salt Seafood Galley take-out restaurant (1976)

Vintage H Salt Seafood Galley take-out restaurant (1976)

H Salt Seafood Galley restaurant (1976)


Old Pizza Hut dine-in restaurant from the 70s

Vintage Pizza Hut restaurants - 1976 (5)

SEE MORE: Vintage Pizza Hut restaurants & food from the ’70s


Pizza Inn restaurants from the 1970s

Pizza Inn restaurant exterior (1971)

Pizza Inn restaurant interior with tables and people (1973)

Pizza Inn restaurant table (1971)


Hannahan’s Public Eating House & Fennimore’s vintage restaurant signs (1978)

Hannahan's Public Eating House and Fennimore's vintage restaurant signs (1978)


The Engine House Pizza Co restaurant (1979)

The Engine House Pizza Co restaurant (1979)


The Crystal Palace Ice Cream Parlour at Marshall Field’s in Chicago (1974)

The Crystal Palace Ice Cream Parlour at Marshall Field's in Chicago (1974)


Disneyland Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

Disneyland Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (1971)

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